(PRESS RELEASE) — The editors of the Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Authority’s (SLHTA) annually published magazine, La Belle Helene, only select the most eye-catching images for the publication’s cover.
The idea is to capture and display the essence of Saint Lucia’s culture and beauty. Last year, when the organization’s Board of Directors curated, from their archive, a group of photo options to be used for the cover of the magazine’s 2019 issue, it was the dazzling smile and bright eyes of a six-year-old girl decked in cultural print, that stole their hearts.
After the magazine’s distribution, in a turn of events, SLHTA eventually found out that not only is their cover-star now a flourishing woman but one who has beaten several odds to manifest her wildest dreams. At 29 years old, Crystal “Chrissy” Gabriel works alongside the world’s leading content streaming platform, Netflix.
Gabriel moved between the US Virgin Islands, Saint Lucia, and the United States as a child. During her time in Saint Lucia, her appreciation for local culture was nurtured by her aunt—also the current Principal of Camille Henry Memorial School, Ms. Beverly Dieudonne, who Gabriel now calls her role model. Though she left the island at the age of eight, years later, at 20, she followed her instincts back to the only place she calls home, Saint Lucia. It was then that her television career began.
Sarah’s Juice (Crown Foods) hired her as a marketer. During a product exhibition, Gabriel met Wayne Whitfield, managing director at Mediazone Productions Inc. and Choice TV St. Lucia. Whitfield was sold on the young woman’s natural charm and asked if she would be interested in testing for a commercial. Not only did she ace it but she also went on to host two TV shows — ‘Unscramble It’ and subsequently, ‘Jazz Files’, on Choice TV.
“I got to interview Keri Hilson, Melanie Fiona, and the list goes on; it was a wonderful experience,” Gabriel admitted during an interview with the SLHTA.
Two years later, after having bore a son, the young adult had an unsettling epiphany: “I noticed that the opportunities [here] were limited and because of that, I couldn’t see myself getting to where I wanted to be, by staying. I knew that I had to leave, so I left. I moved to Los Angeles.”
The move and her time in California were not short of challenges. Full of hope, Gabriel found herself having to adapt. She made a series of difficult decisions and adopted new professional practices that would take her through various roles including assistant producer and assistant director on a number of television shows.
One assistant-directing gig on the hit show, Project Runway All Stars, turned out to be the reason she once again bet on herself and flew to New York at a time when she had little to her name. However, it was this decision that would catapult her career to new heights. In New York, Gabriel constantly found herself amongst the right people and networks. She was also mentored by other accomplished women like known Netflix TV Show Financial Director, Cynthia L.
Today, Gabriel works as part of a team of accountants on two Netflix shows, David Letterman Season 2 and Pandemic.
“I really love it,” she beamed in her interview. Her days are all about managing payrolls and other monetary transactions—a cumbersome task considering that the shows employ and do business on a global scale. Though the daring Saint Lucian hinted that her immediate plans may involve returning home while still keeping her connections to Netflix, she cannot say for certain what the future holds. Undoubtedly, it will be something special.”
To read Chrissy Gabriel’s full story, which details more succinctly the decisions she made, opportunities she took and lessons she learned, visit: http://www.slhta.com/saint-lucias-chrissy-gabriel-shares-her-inspiring-journey-to-netflix/